To say that the past year was full of ups and downs is an understatement. That’s especially true for small businesses that had to shut their doors or reinvent their offerings to stay afloat amid a global pandemic. Some even moved their operations to their homes to cut costs and follow shelter-in-place measures. On the other hand, some people took advantage of lockdowns and started a small business at home.
This 2021, things are getting better. As more people get vaccinated, more businesses can reopen. Small businesses can even use the changing tides to expand or, at least, test the waters for expansion. But, of course, making any business moves in a fast-changing (or erratic, for some) landscape can come with a lot of risks.
Whether you want to restore your pre-pandemic small-business operations or plan to expand your new home-based business, here are some ideas that can help you stay afloat or even thrive in the months or years to come.
Master creating engaging content
Now more than ever, people are reading posts, watching videos, and scrolling stories on social media. But too often, brands focus only on showcasing products or posting about promos and other offerings. The best way to attract your target market online today is to engage them. You can do it not only through fun, interactive posts but also through educational content and honest stories that resonate with them.
But how can your brand be a good source of information, entertainment, or inspiration? Take Dove, for instance. Dove doesn’t only focus on selling soaps and telling its audience how great Dove soaps are. The company also consistently creates videos, stories, and campaigns about body positivity. Its body-positivity messaging is consistent across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and TikTok.
Look beyond what you sell to see your brand’s higher purpose. Then, highlight that messaging through clever, creative, and interactive social media content that speaks to your audience. That way, you can nurture your relationship with your existing customers and attract more buyers to grow your business.
Invest in better tools
Do you want to cater to more customers, but you’re unsure how to tackle it? Start with better tools. If you’ve been designing and selling shirts from your home in the past year, and you want to start offering your services to corporate clients, buying bigger and better machines can help boost your operations. Have you been cooking meals and baking goods for five to ten customers a day? Perhaps you need to remodel your kitchen at home to ensure it can handle the influx of clients once you decide to accept more orders.
Just make sure to crunch the numbers. See if your budget can handle the expenses of new tools and machines as you gradually add services, widen your target market, or accept more orders or buyers.
Start a YouTube channel
As mentioned, more and more people watch videos nowadays. So if you have mastered creating video content, and you’ve invested in a new kitchen or machines for your business, why don’t you put those two things together and start a YouTube channel? Imagine all the customers you can attract by shooting behind-the-scene clips as you work on this week’s batch of cookie orders or screen-printed shirts.
Another good thing about YouTube is it’s a search engine with content longevity. Your videos can still be found years after you posted them. Just make sure they are creative and engaging to make them evergreen. Also, if you’re not comfortable talking to the camera, there are lots of other ways to do video content. ASMR videos, short, snackable how-to videos, and silent docuseries are a hit on YouTube.
Collaborate with other brands
Collaborating with a company in a related industry is one of the easiest and most affordable forms of marketing you can do. It helps widen your market without spending thousands of dollars on ads.
If you make lotions and scrubs at home, make a business proposal to a local spa or skin care clinic to carry your products in their facilities by offering a discount to their customers. In exchange, you will buy skincare or massage gift passes from your partner brand and offer these to your customers at no cost.
Taking your new home-based business to new heights or restoring your small-business operations is a good move as the world transitions to a post-pandemic era. But, of course, with any other business decisions, this requires planning, and hopefully, the ideas discussed above can be a huge help to you.